Unemployment Rate Falls Again, But Job Growth Still Sluggish

Unemployment rate falls again, but job growth still sluggishThe Labor Department has reported that national unemployment has dropped to its lowest level in nearly two years. The data, which was released on Feb. 4, revealed that the jobless rate fell to 9 percent in January.

The jobless rate has fallen by eight-tenths of a percentage point in the last two months, which is the sharpest decline in more than 50 years. However, the agency conducted a separate survey of businesses that showed lackluster job growth. This reveals that many people who were previously looking for jobs stopped their search last month, thus the government did not include them in their unemployment data.

Approximately 950,000 net new jobs were added in 2010, the report says. This number is down from the previous estimate of 1.1 million. In 2008 and 2009, the recession led to the loss of about 8 million jobs in America. An average of about 83,000 net jobs per month have been generated in the last three months, which is not enough to keep up with the nation's population growth.

Republican lawmakers have stated that job creation will be addressed after Congress tackles Obamacare and other social issues such as abortion. According to The Associated Press, Democrats have criticized the GOP for avoiding job-related issues following their midterm campaigns in which they emphasized the need to reduce the unemployment rate.

Representative Tom Cole (R-Okla.) defended his party, telling the news provider that his colleagues are following through on "commitments we made" by addressing healthcare and abortion.

Bed Bugs Can’t Kill, But They Cause Discomfort And Embarrassment

Bed bugs cant kill, but they cause discomfort and embarrassmentA two-day National Bed Bug Summit was held in Washington, D.C. last week to address the recent infestations sweeping the United States.

According to FOX News, these critters have infiltrated millions of homes, as well as movie theaters and the most posh retail stores and hotels in recent years. Although bed bugs have never been shown to carry diseases, they do leave noticeable bite marks when they attack. In addition, the presence of these insects can cause a lot of embarrassment for homeowners, who may refuse to host social events in fear of ridicule.

Many sources recommend the hiring of a professional exterminator to eliminate bed bugs because, unlike some other species, these creatures are tough to locate and even tougher to eradicate. According to Bed-Bug.org, there are several effective ways to treat bites: Resist scratching, use calamine lotion, apply an ice-pack to relieve swelling and disinfect the area with antiseptic soap.

Although bed bugs are typically associated with unkempt homes or apartments, GoodHouseKeeping.com warns that these critters can travel to any location, and they commonly move from place to place through furniture or pets.

The website recommends that homeowners check their bed frames, mattresses and behind their headboard for bed bugs. In addition, they should inspect their dresser table drawers and upholstered chairs. 

How To Beat The Flu: Simple, Natural Approach Does The Trick

You think the flu is harmless? You’re wrong. In fact, influenza kills more people than AIDS, lung cancer and heart disease combined. Here’s a sobering thought: Every year you run a 50/50 chance of contracting this disease. You’ve probably had it before; even many times before. Perhaps you even suffered from it last winter. Luckily, if you’re reading this letter, you obviously survived.

The World Health Organization tells us more than 25 percent of the world’s population gets hit with the flu virus every year — that’s about 1.5 billion people. Now granted, most of those 1.5 billion will get better. That much you probably expected. But more than 15 million people will not. In fact, many of them are dead within a week of first falling ill.

The Chilling Facts
The chilling truth about the world’s deadliest disease is simply that there are literally hundreds of thousands of different viral strains — each mutating and multiplying into killer bugs, some as quickly as once every 20 minutes.

That fact is chilling enough. But did you know that it takes three to four months after a new virus emerges for an effective vaccination to be manufactured and dispersed? And once you get the virus, the vaccine is of no use at all. Of course, the loss of life is the real tragedy.

Among those who survive, the flu epidemic sickens enough of the U.S. workforce each year to drain more than $10 billion in lost wages and production from the U.S. economy. And again, that’s just the loss here in the U.S.

Not to mention the money Americans spend trying to beat the sniffling, sneezing, aching, hacking, feverish symptoms of the disease — more than $3 billion every year. That’s many times more than the economies of some Third World nations. No wonder there are more than 100 different brands of flu medicine.

Right now, all the over-the-counter flu drugs are pretty much the same. Drugs like Sudafed®, Alka-Seltzer, Robitussin®, Theraflu®, Dimetapp® and NyQuil®. But not one of them actually prevents the flu. They all just treat symptoms. And you know by now that treating symptoms will never prevent the onset of anything.

You may be thinking that a flu shot will get you through the season unscathed, if you get it in time. Not so. Flu vaccines are only 30 percent effective in preventing the virus. According to Dr. Richard Judelsohn, medical director of the Erie County (N.Y.) Department of Health, 30 percent of those vaccinated against the flu or pneumonia get no protection whatsoever from their shot.

The news only gets worse. Among the elderly or those suffering from health conditions that weaken the immune system, the flu vaccines may be useless up to 50 percent of the time.

Prevention Is The Best Medicine
While there’s no way to completely protect yourself from the viruses that cause colds and flu, you can take all-natural measures to prevent them from nailing you. Strengthening your immune system is the way to do it.

I personally use a combination of Chinese patent herbal formulas to build my immunity during cold and flu season. These include Gan Mao Ling, Zhong Gan Ling, Chuan Xin Lian, and Yin Chiao tablets. Each of these can be purchased in Chinatowns nationwide, and are also easily found on-line through a simple keyword search. 

If a more mainstream approach is your cup of tea, consuming a hot cup of ginger green tea each day can do wonders in preventing this debilitating illness. Green tea is full of anti-oxidants and ginger is a diaphoretic (promotes sweating). Sweating out the dampness and phlegm — that get infected and provide an environment for viruses to live — is essential to prevention.

Doubling the recommended daily doses of vitamin C and zinc starting a month before cold and flu season will also boost immunity. Adding more garlic to your diet is great. Garlic acts as an anti-bacterial… and can also be taken in supplement form. Altering your diet during cold and flu season will also do wonders. Here’s the good and bad of it.

Here are some healing foods to include in your diet: Stews and soups (that are not milk or cream based), ginger, brown sugar, green tea, walnuts, scallion bulb, peanuts (Steamed or Boiled), egg whites, garlic, watermelon and tomato juice, pears, apples, raisins, mung beans, rice, radish, Chinese date, water chestnut extract, eggs stewed in vinegar, carrots, and lotus root.

Here are some foods to remove from your diet while experiencing symptoms: All animal milk products (milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream), excessive oil consumption, refined white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, coffee, black tea, sodas, bananas, and butter.

Stress… less!
Finally and most important: Lower your stress. Stress is terrible for you, causing tight muscles, headaches, belly fat and high blood pressure and it weakens your immune system. In fact, nearly 75 percent of people who get colds each year are found to be under heavy levels of stress.

So relax, smile, eat some garlic, take some supplements… and you may be able to take a vacation from this year’s cold and flu epidemic. Happy winter!

–Dr. Mark Wiley

Choosing Dark Roast Coffee May Boost Antioxidant Intake

Choosing dark roast coffee may boost antioxidant intakeNext time the barista poses the question of light or dark roast, coffee-drinkers might be doing themselves a nutritional favor by going for the latter as it has been shown to contain more antioxidants.

Research conducted at the University of British Columbia has shown that the high temperatures at which beans are roasted to produce dark roast coffee are responsible for the beverage's antioxidant levels.

Coffee contains polyphenols which are antioxidants also found in red wine and certain teas. Antioxidants help eliminate harmful free radicals, substances which have been linked to cancer and other diseases.

Previous research from scientists at the University of Scranton has shown that coffee is a top source of the disease-fighting compounds. The study concluded that the beverage has higher levels of antioxidants than any other food or beverage, according to an article on MSNBC.com.

However, it should be noted that excessive levels of caffeine can put stress on the heart and lead to anxiety or hypertension. So, enjoy dark roast in moderation and try to include lots of fruits and vegetables to further boost antioxidant intake.  

Number Of Illegal Immigrants Grows In 2010

Number of illegal immigrants grows in 2010The number of illegal immigrants increased by 100,000 last year, according to estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center.

The data reveals that approximately 11.2 million undocumented immigrants, or 3.7 percent of the nation's overall population, were living in the United States in March 2010, which was up from 11.1 million in 2009. The growth in the illegal alien population bucked a two-year trend of decreasing numbers.

The number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. is below the 2007 mark of 12 million, but the total is still significantly higher than the 8.4 million that were recorded in 2000. In addition, the illegal immigrant population has tripled since 1990, when the total was 3.5 million.

Furthermore, undocumented immigrants accounted for 5.2 percent of the American labor force in 2010, while the national unemployment rate exceeded 9 percent all year.

Many state legislatures have proposed measures that are similar to Arizona's strict immigration law, which went into effect last July. According to MSNBC, at least 15 states have introduced bills since the beginning of the year that closely resemble Arizona's. Many lawmakers claim that illegal immigrants are taking jobs and services from U.S. citizens. 

What Your Stomach Troubles REALLY Mean

If you frequently experience digestive problems like constipation, gas, bloating, indigestion and persistent fatigue, there’s a chance that the undigested foods in your colon have attracted parasites.

And this isn’t just a problem in developing countries. Recent medical studies suggest about 85 percent of Americans are infested with at least one type of parasite!

To protect yourself, consider using one of Mother Nature’s parasite destroyers:

  • Black walnut extract — Chinese and Native Americans have long used black walnut to protect against intestinal worms. Its antiseptic properties also help fight many fungal and bacterial infections.
  • Grapefruit seed extract — Louis Parish, M.D., an investigator for the Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Food and Drug Administration, reported that grapefruit seed extract “…is as effective as any other amoebicide now available, perhaps more effective…” It’s a safe and simple way to avoid parasites that contaminate drinking water. 

Arizona Governor Questions Bloomberg’s Cross-Country Investigation

Arizona governor questions Bloomberg's cross-country investigationArizona officials are perplexed about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's recent investigation that occurred thousands of miles outside of his jurisdiction.

Bloomberg has urged Congress to fix "loopholes" in Federal gun laws after undercover video allegedly showed gun vendors in Phoenix failing to conduct background checks before selling firearms. The mayor used NYC funds to send investigators to a gun show in the Grand Canyon State.

"He's out here in Arizona solving our problems. I guess he believes that he has solved all the problems in New York," Arizona Governor Jan Brewer told FOX News.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio took exception to Bloomberg's investigation, claiming that the mayor overstepped his jurisdictional boundaries. According to the news provider, Arpaio said that elected officials are making a habit of infringing on his county's law enforcement policies — first with immigration reform and now with gun control.

Appearing on MSNBC on Feb. 1, Bloomberg called on President Barack Obama to take a firmer stance on gun control. Since last month's deadly shooting in Tucson, Ariz., the mayor has stepped up his efforts to promote stricter policies, which he says will help "stop all this carnage."

Paul Says GOP May Not Be “Brave Enough” To Slash Federal Spending

Freshman Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has claimed that the GOP's most recent budget proposal is insufficient, and he has questioned whether his party colleagues are "brave enough" to make deeper cuts.

During an interview with ABC News, Paul said that Representative Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) plan — which would cut non-security spending by $58 billion by the end of the fiscal year — is "not going to touch the problem." Paul has proposed his own budget that would reduce spending by $500 billion this year and impose deep cuts across the board.

Paul said that it is more important to him to stay true to his Tea Party principles than follow the GOP leaders. His plan would cut the Department of Education budget by 83 percent and eliminate all foreign aid, and he said those proposals are just scratching the surface for future cuts.

"I go to a Tea Party [gathering] and you know what they say to me? It's not enough. It's not enough. Where's the other trillion you need?" Paul told the media outlet.

According to CNN, Democrats have also criticized Ryan's budget, but for different reasons. They accused House Republicans of not following through on their promises, referring to the party's original pledge to cut $100 billion from the budget. GOP staffers argued that Ryan's proposal does meet their original target because it represents the pro-rated amount for scaling back spending rates to 2008 levels for the remaining seven months of the fiscal year. 

Huntsman Leaving Beijing For Possible White House Bid

Huntsman leaving Beijing for possible White House bidJon Huntsman's decision to resign from his Chinese ambassadorship has fueled rumors that the former Governor of Utah is gearing up for a presidential bid in 2012.

Huntsman, a Republican, stated earlier this week that he will leave Beijing on April 30. Although he has not confirmed his intentions to run for president, many pundits believe that the charismatic Huntsman will throw his hat in an already crowded field of potential candidates. Huntsman is the second Mormon to be rumored for the 2012 race, along with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

In 2009, Obama designated Huntsman as the United States Ambassador to China. Many political analysts believe that his appointment was part of an effort by the President to delay Huntsman's White House bid until 2016. Some people have speculated that Huntsman's ties to the Obama administration could hurt his candidacy.

The President recently joked about it, as well.

"I'm sure that him having worked so well with me will be a great asset in any Republican primary," Obama said about the prospect of Huntsman running in 2012.

Make Your Own First-Aid Medical Kit

A standard first-aid kit is very important for emergencies. You must keep this kit accessible so you can get to it easily.

To make a first-aid kit, collect the items in the following list from around your home and purchase any of those items that you don’t have. As always, you should tailor this kit to fit the needs of your family.

Assemble them into a small suitcase or other container. Ideally, it should be waterproof. Keep all items in sealable bags to keep moisture out. Once it’s complete, store it in an easily accessible area of your home or garage. You should also make a smaller first-aid kit to put into your 72-hour kit.

The following list is a suggestion for what to store in your homemade medical kit: Add anything extra that your family needs. If you have a small child or baby, include the following baby items: Diapers, diaper rash ointment, and anything else a child would need for a medical emergency.

  • Cold Medicine.                                          
  • Ibuprofen.
  • Acetaminophen (Include baby dosages if applicable).
  • Aspirin.
  • Antacid.
  • Syrup of ipecac.
  • Diarrhea remedy.
  • Asthma inhaler (if needed).
  • Cough medication.
  • Antibiotic (if possible).
  • Antibiotic ointment.
  • Antibacterial wipes.
  • Baby wipes.
  • Bandages, all sizes (100 count).
  • Instant cold and hot packs.
  • Sun screen/block.
  • Lip balm or lip medication.
  • Triangular bandages.
  • Assorted gauze pads.
  • Sterile gauze.
  • First aid tape.
  • Elastic wrap or compression bandages (2 or more).
  • Butterfly closures.
  • Cotton balls and swabs.
  • Small scissors.
  • Thermometer.
  • Sanitary napkins.          
  • Disposable diapers.
  • Tweezers.
  • Small Splints — Popsicle sticks or tongue depressors.
  • Needle and thread.
  • Waterproof matches.
  • Plastic spoons.
  • Safety pins
  • Small notebook with pens.
  • Multi-purpose knife
  • Flashlight (with batteries).
  • Can opener (if needed).
  • Blanket — lightweight
  • Space blanket.
  • Essential personal medications.

No first aid or 72-hour kit is complete without ION. ION is a water treatment that kills bacteria on contact. It has an indefinite shelf life and eight drops will treat eight ounces of drinking water. If you get stranded in your car and can only find snow, pond, lake or river water to drink, ION will make it safe.

But it has other uses besides water treatment. ION also kills bacteria on wounds, cuts, and scrapes. ION can also be taken internally to help the body recover from the flu.

One bottle of ION will treat 110 gallons of stored water. It is great for use in water storage barrels. It can be used wherever the food or water is questionable. It will keep the water safe for five years.

Ion (Stabilized Oxygen) and premade medical kits can be purchased here.

Personal Medications
It’s very important that you include personal medications in your medical kit as well as your 72-hour kit. If you have to evacuate quickly and don’t have your mandatory medication, it could mean life or death. Most people cannot go more than three days without their medication.

Talk to your doctor and explain that you need an emergency supply of medication and keep it with your 72-hour kit or medical kit. Some medications expire within a few months so they need to be rotated.  Painkillers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin and powdered antibiotics are good to have on hand.

Cleaning Products And Soaps
Keep these items in a separate 5-gallon bucket that you could grab and go if necessary.

  • Disinfectants and bleach.
  • Washboard and tub.
  • Laundry soap.
  • Emergency clothesline or rack.
  • Hand soap and antibacterial soap.
  • Paper towels or hand towels.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Extra water for washing hands and clothes.

Bathroom Sanitation
A 5-gallon bucket can be used as a toilet. You can purchase bucket liners or use small garbage bags as liners. The Luggable Loo emergency toilet has a screw-on lid that fits over the bucket and has a toilet seat on top of it. If you don’t want to make your own sanitation kit you can purchase one here.

To make your own sanitation kit you will need to assemble the following items:

  • Five gallon bucket.
  • Toilet seat lid (screw on or snap on type).
  • Plastic garbage bags to fit the 5-gallon bucket with ties.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Baby wipes.
  • Anti-bacterial wipes.
  • Personal hygiene and feminine products.
  • Small fold-up shovel.

Outdoor Outhouse
What would you do if there was a natural disaster and the water was shut off to your house. How would you flush the toilets? How would you bathe? It would be like camping in your back yard.

If you live in an area where you have a little extra space on your property, an outhouse can be constructed by digging a hole about three feet deep. Put over the hole a wooden box with a toilet seat-shaped hole cut out of the top. Build a small tool shed-type enclosure around it. Be sure to vent it.

An alternative is to construct a makeshift room built like a tent with a curtain hung around it for privacy. To eliminate smells and toxic human waste I recommend a product called BIO-CLEAN. This dramatically reduces odor and flies. Cleaning and disposal of the pit becomes much easier and more sanitary.

BIO-CLEAN is a blend of bacteria and enzymes. The bacteria are natural, not genetically-engineered. The enzyme concentration is the most powerful on the market. Bio-Clean is non-poisonous. It creates no heat or fumes and there is no boiling involved. It does not attack live tissue or inorganic materials, only organic wastes like human excrement, grease, hair, food particles, paper and cotton. This makes BIO-CLEAN safe for people, plumbing and the environment.

BIO-CLEAN changes the waste particles into water, carbon dioxide and mineral ash which become harmless in the outhouse, cesspool, pit, or waste system. These elements are then available to use as compost in the garden.

Red Wine May Reverse Signs Of Arterial Aging

Red wine may reverse signs of arterial agingWhile antioxidants in red wine have been shown to have health benefits, a recent study conducted at the Boston University Medical Center provides insight into what exactly the compounds do to the body.

A team of scientists examined the effects of polyphenols from red wine on rats, and it found that the rodents experienced improved artery function and ability to exercise after 24 weeks of ingesting a solvent containing the antioxidants.

The study authors said the improved vascular health may be due to lowered oxidative stress in the arterial wall. As individuals age, the inner lining of blood vessels, known as the endothelium, tends to lose its ability to foster proper blood flow, leading to cardiovascular disease.

The polyphenols from red wine halted endothelial dysfunction in the rats and also normalized the expression of certain proteins.

"Intake [of red wine polyphenols] had also a physiological beneficial effect since it improved the physical exercise capacity of old rats," study authors noted.

The American Heart Association has estimated that more than 81 million Americans suffer from a form of cardiovascular disease. It has also reported that coronary heart disease caused by atherosclerosis, or the narrowing of arteries, is the leading cause of death in the United States. 

Is The Gold Market A Bubble?

People who hate the discipline of gold are creative in their attacks to discredit honest money.

They say gold is in a bubble. But it is paper money that is in a bubble and the world is in the blow-off stage. In fact, every passing hour there is created tens of millions of dollars in phantom money. This requires more and more gold to rebalance the escalating deficit of substantive money.

Gold is not in a bubble. The world’s governments and people need more and more gold versus paper money.

Confidence in government “money” is collapsing. People all over the world are suddenly learning that governments steal from their citizens by inflating their currencies.

My advice to you is that if you wish to return to the good old days when you could buy a loaf of bread for a dime, then you must have some silver dimes. The baker will understand the value of a silver dime when the time comes.

Also, you should get money out of the United States into the Swiss franc and investigate Swiss annuities. There is a $50,000 minimum now. For information call toll-free 1-800-331-0996, leave your name, address, and phone number for information. Please speak clearly.

Another offshore wealth protection strategy is offshore life insurance. You can obtain our free research manual, The Offshore Life Insurance Advantage, written by top attorney J. Richard Duke, to learn more about them. I outlined some of the advantages of offshore insurance in my recent column, Consider Offshore Life Insurance For Asset Protection.

The greatest problem the American people have is currency depreciation by the government. The government produces nothing. Government can only depreciate the value of the currency to pretend to pay debts and stabilize the economy.

Once again, gold is not in a bubble. It’s paper money that is in a bubble. Gold has been rising in paper money terms for 10 years because wealth holders around the world are increasingly seeing it as a more stable currency than their local currencies.

Gold is a more stable currency than paper money because of its scarcity; annual demand for gold exceeds its production. Annual demand for paper money does not. The truly damning phrase should not be gold-bug, but paper-bug. Many investors and media commentators resolutely refuse to understand gold as real money.

No, it is not too late to buy gold and silver coins. In fact, the recent correction makes now the right time. You must keep them in your personal possession, not in a bank safe deposit box.

Gold and silver stocks have broken out to the upside again. They still have a lot to gain in my opinion. I use Charles Schwab for a discount broker.

The following are gold, silver and energy stocks that I own. I’ve made tremendous gains with them and they still have a long way to go: BHP Billiton (I recommend this stock to everyone), Royal Gold; Kinross; Iamgold; El Dorado; Agnico-Eagle; Silver Standard; Pan American; CONSOL Energy; ASA Limited; Marathon Oil; Talisman Energy; Endeavour Mining; Industrias Penoles; Couer d’Alene Mines; Compania De Minas Buenaventura SA; Baidu Inc. (this is the Chinese Google, a high flyer and has a long way to go, in my opinion).

We are not selling yet: Newfield Exploration.

Some good funds: India Fund; Morgan Stanley Indian Fund; Vanguard Energy Fund; Fidelity Select Gold Fund; GAMCO Gold Fund; Tocqueville Funds; US Global Investors Precious Minerals Fund; US Global Gold and Precious Minerals Fund.

Cardiovascular Disease Preventable By Controlling Blood Pressure

Cardiovascular disease preventable by controlling blood pressureResearch recently published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association has indicated that by lowering blood pressure, women cut their risk of experiencing stroke, myocardial infarction or heart failure and could possibly reverse some effects of cardiovascular disease.

Conductors of the study examined nearly 10,000 people in 11 countries for 11 years and found that high systolic blood pressure is a strong indicator of cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol and smoking are also strong risk factors and, combined with hypertension, they account for 85 percent of reversible cardiovascular disease.

The results suggest that since high blood pressure is preventable, individuals could also stave off heart disease by taking the same measures. The National Institutes of Health advises a healthy, low-sodium diet and regular exercise to keep blood pressure at a healthy level.

"I was surprised by the study findings that highlight the missed opportunities for prevention of heart disease in older women," said Dr. Jan A. Staessen, director of the Studies Coordinating Center in the Division of Cardiovascular Rehabilitation at the University of Leuven in Belgium.

While an increase in blood pressure showed a 56 percent higher chance of heart complications for women, in men it only heightened risks by 32 percent.  

Barbara Bush Advocates For Gay Marriage In New York Civil Rights Campaign

Barbara Bush Advocates For Gay Marriage In New York Civil Rights CampaignBarbara Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, has joined a list of well-known Republicans who support gay marriage.

According to media reports, Barbara appears in a 20-second advertisement that is featured on the Human Rights Campaign's website. The video is one of several testimonials from New Yorkers who support marriage equality. Whoopi Goldberg, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are among the other participants in the campaign.

"New York is about fairness and equality and everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love. Join us," Barbara says in the video.

Although most GOP lawmakers oppose gay marriage, Barbara joins her mother Laura Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), as prominent conservatives who back equal rights for homosexuals. Mary Cheney, the former VP's daughter, is openly gay.

Although President Barack Obama opposed same-sex marriage during his 2008 presidential campaign, the commander-in-chief has indicated in recent months that his stance is "evolving." Eight states currently grant marriage licenses to gay couples, but under the Defense of Marriage Act — passed in 1996 — the Federal government cannot recognize these unions. 

Idaho Legislator Says Constitution Allows State To Reject Obamacare

Idaho legislator says Constitution allows state to reject ObamacareLawmakers in Idaho are working on legislation that would declare President Barack Obama's healthcare law "null and void," claiming that the 10th Amendment grants individual states the final word on enforcing policies.

State Senator Monty Pearce (R-New Plymouth), the sponsor of the bill, said that he will introduce the proposal next week. However, Idaho's attorney general said that the bill would not hold up in court, which has caused some Republicans to think twice about their support for a "null and void" motion.

"My concern is the separation of powers," said State Senator Curt McKenzie (R-Nampa), quoted by FOX News. "There are ways to address this issue, but this isn't the right path."

The media outlet reported that at least six other states are mulling over similar bills, but they will wait to see the fate of Idaho's attempt. The Gem State is one of 26 states — spearheaded by Florida — that signed on to a Federal lawsuit against Obamacare. On Jan. 31, a judge ruled in favor of the states and declared the healthcare law unConstitutional. 

How America Became A Communist Nation

The root of the problem the world is facing right now isn’t really governments… or banks. The real problem is simply a very bad idea — the idea that the State ought to sit in the center of society. Let me explain…

The last 100 years (since 1914) saw not only the end of the classic gold standard, but also the fantastic ascendancy of the nation-state.

These two trends are inherently and dangerously related.

Until World War I, the central government of the United States, for example, played a small role in the lives of its citizens. Its powers were strictly limited, as were its revenues. It was specifically barred from taxing citizens directly. It was a humble government that interacted with the individual states in the union, but didn’t interact much with individual citizens.

The first signs of change came after the Civil War. "Progressive" ideas began to emerge. Most of these ideas came from Germany, from philosophers like Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The core of these ideas was that the State itself was superior to its citizens. Therefore, the argument went, society ought to be organized to better accomplish the goals of the State.

Today, most Americans have no idea that the foundations of our modern State are based — nearly verbatim — on the demands of Marx’s Communist Manifesto.

In 1848, Marx threatened to organize a worker’s revolution unless European governments:

1. Abolished property rights and applied all rents towards public purposes.

[Modern corollary: Don’t pay your property taxes, lose your house. So who really owns your house?]

2. Levied a heavy, progressive income tax to equalize wages.

[Modern corollary: Combined Federal and State marginal income and payroll taxes approach (or surpass) 50 percent in many U.S. states.]

3. Abolished all rights of inheritance.

[Modern corollary: The estate tax.]

4. Confiscated the property of all emigrants.

[Modern corollary: The 2008 "Hero’s Act," which forces people leaving the U.S. to pay the equivalent of their estate taxes on the global assets before they turn in their passports.]

5. Centralized access to credit in the hands of the State by means of a national bank and an exclusive monopoly.

[Modern corollary: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which make more than 90 percent of all of the mortgages in the U.S. and have dominated the market for mortgages for decades.]

6. Centralized the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.

[Modern corollary: AT&T was a legal monopoly for decades. AMTRAK is a ward of the states. The government owns all the roads. And the State controls all air traffic.]

7. Provided free education for all children in public schools.

[Note the emphasis on public schools. Paying for education isn’t enough. What counts is indoctrinating the kids in glorifying the State.]

8. Produced a common agricultural policy to maximize the productivity of the land.

[Modern corollary: Massive ethanol and agricultural subsidies.]

Most people in democracies like these ideas for one simple reason: They hold the allure of getting something for nothing. They are the siren song of living at the expense of your neighbor.

These ideas became extremely popular over the last 100 years all around the world. As a result, as democracy spread, so did these ideas. Politicians of each party and persuasion throughout the Western world quickly adopted them as their own (and never mentioned Marx).

As these ideas took hold, one big problem developed… How do you pay for them?

Progressive politicians believed they had the answer. They just took Marx’s big innovation: A progressive income tax. Let the rich pay!

It’s a popular idea — but it never works because decisions to add more benefits don’t take into account the expense of paying for them. It doesn’t take long for the budget to get out of control. Or said another way, everyone can’t live at the expense of his neighbor. His neighbor can’t afford it… and he moves.

More serious, the flaw in communism is obvious. Communism doesn’t account for the fact that people expect to control the fruits of their labor. People don’t like their assets being stolen and their wages being heavily taxed by a government that regulates their businesses and sends their children off to war. Incrementally, people stop working. Wealthy people flee… or hide their incomes.

Tax revenues fail to meet projections. Deficits grow. Deficit spending soars. And debts mount.

That’s where paper money comes in. Paper money isn’t only good for financing a war. It’s also perfect for closing the gap between what an economy ought to produce and its paltry real production when it has been beaten into submission by communist ideas. I like to explain it this way…

The central truth of economics is scarcity. There can never be enough of anything to satisfy everyone. The central truth of politics is patronage: Promising to give everything to everyone. Paper money is the bridge between economics and politics.

The unpaid debts of an entire generation of people in Western countries are coming due. The so-called "baby boomers" grew up in a world dominated by Marxism and Keynesian economics. These are bad ideas. They are destined to collapse.

And the collapse is here.


Porter Stansberry

–Porter Stansberry with Braden Copeland

P.S. To learn more about America’s push to Communism, please click here.

U.S. Aid To Egypt Has Benefited American Businesses

U.S. aid to Egypt has benefited American businessesAs violence erupted in the streets of Egypt this week, some Americans have raised concerns about the government's aid to its Arab ally.

According to The Boston Globe, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that American taxpayers have funneled more than $60 billion into Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak came to power in 1981. Approximately $34 billion came in the form of grants that required Egypt to purchase American-made military equipment.

Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit government watchdog group, claims that more money should have been directed toward the nation's economic development, which may have helped prevent the recent turmoil.

"When you think about the aid, a large portion of it is very self-serving. It gets funneled right back to the United States," Bill Allison, editorial director at the Sunlight Foundation, told the news provider.

Although the government's aid to the Egyptian military has remained steady over the last decade — at about $1.3 billion per year — the civilian economic assistance has dropped at a rate of about $40 million per year, according to the CRS.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Representative Kay Granger (R-Texas), the chairwoman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on state and foreign operations, has urged fellow lawmakers to use caution when deciding on future aid for Egypt. Although many critics have called on the U.S. to relinquish its funding, Granger said that Congress must look at the bigger picture — Egypt's peace agreement with Israel and its influence in the Middle East — rather than hastily respond to recent events. 

Super Bowl Predictions, Debt, Greenspan and Billionaires

*The Super Bowl predicts a rising stock market. You’ll be glad to know that no matter who wins the Big Game this Sunday, it will mean a good year for U.S. stocks. That’s because “the Super Bowl predictor” — a statistical oddity first noted by market analyst Robert Stovall — says that whenever the winner is an original member of the National Football League, the market will end the year higher than it began. Since both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers meet that criterion, expect good things for the Dow in 2011. Don’t scoff — the predictor has been right 35 out of the past 44 Super Bowls, giving it a 79.5 percent accuracy rate. Can you pick stocks that well?

*Guess who’s getting out of debt — and who’s not? The final figures for 2010 aren’t out yet. But here’s what the Federal Reserve’s Flow of Funds report says happened in 2009. Households in this country reduced their debt by an average of 1.7 percent. Businesses did even better, cutting debt by 2.3 percent. States and local governments went the other way, increasing debt by 4.9 percent. But our greedy, grasping Federal government was the worst spendthrift of all, piling on another 22.9 percent of debt to an already massive load. No wonder people are screaming “stop!”

*Alan Greenspan says “me bad” … almost. Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who did as much as any man alive to turn on the money spigots in Washington, now says: “We have at this particular stage a fiat money which is essentially money printed by a government. It’s usually a central bank which is authorized to do so. Some mechanism has got to be in place that restricts the amount of money that is produced, either a gold standard or a currency board.” And what will happen if we don’t? The maestro warns, “All of history suggest[s] that inflation will take hold with very deleterious effects on economic activity….” Wish you’d followed that good advice when you were in charge, ol’ buddy.

*Another quote worth chewing on. Market analyst Marc Faber offered up this stunner last week: “If you measure the stock market not in dollars but gold, it is down 80 percent since 1999. I no longer regard the U.S. dollar as a valid unit of account. People shouldn’t value their wealth in dollars because one day, in dollars, everyone will be a billionaire.”

–Chip Wood

The Sorry State Of Obama’s Disunion

Is it just me? Or did you also think that “America’s greatest orator” came across as flat, dull and uninspired in his State of the Union speech a week ago?

Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal columnist who is one of my all-time favorite observers of the Washington scene, certainly did. Listen to how she summed up what she heard:

“Rhetorically the speech lay there like a lox, as if the document itself knew it was dishonest, felt embarrassed, and wanted to curl up quietly in a corner of the podium and hide. But the president insisted on reading it.”

No, POTUS did not give the SOTUS I expected. He did not move decisively to the center. But I did get one thing right: I predicted a week ago that the State of the Union Speech (SOTUS) by the President of the United States (POTUS) would be filled with promises and platitudes. This one sure was.

But looking at what appeared to be a bored and disbelieving audience, I got the impression that hardly anyone in the House believed him. To be honest, I didn’t either. The image that kept coming back to me during his 62-minute oration was of a man standing there with one arm stretched out — and the other behind his back with his fingers crossed.

Still, I have to admit that there was some very clever oratory. Whichever wordsmith on his staff decided to substitute the word “investment” for “spending” is an absolute genius. A genius whose talents are promoting the dark side, true. But it’s a brilliant rhetorical cover for one of the most damaging legacies of this administration.

And what about that promise to “freeze” Federal spending for the next five years? The man has been throwing money around with such abandon that he’s given drunken sailors a bad name. And now we’re supposed to applaud when he says, “Hey, no more increases for five years. Let’s just hold things where they are, okay?”

That is akin to sending a son off to college with a brand-new credit card. For two years he spends like crazy on wine, women and song. Oh, and maybe a book or two. You bail him out again and again, but no sooner have you paid off the staggering balance then there he goes again, running it up to the limit.

Finally, you’ve had enough. You threaten to take the card and cut it into tiny pieces. You tell him that from now on, he’ll be on a strict cash allowance. His response is to promise you that, if you’ll give the card back, he won’t spend any more in the future than he did in the past. Would you accept this as a fair deal? (If you would, let me tell you about some swampland I’d like to sell you.)

When it comes to healthcare, the President urged his audience not to “re-fight the battles of the last two years” but to fix what needs fixing and move on. Nice try, Mr. President, but it ain’t gonna work. In fact, as you know only too well, the House voted the previous week to abolish the entire healthcare monstrosity that you’re so proud of.

Plus, a Federal judge just ruled that a huge part of your bill is unConstitutional. More than half of the States have already initiated legal action to get the measure overturned or at least blocked in their jurisdictions. This fight ain’t half-begun, sir. And no amount of pious platitudes from you will change that.

The media reported after the SOTU that the President was interrupted 80 times by applause. You can bet that the White House had orchestrated every palm slap more carefully than a State Dinner. As I watched all of those politicians jump up and down every other sentence or so, I was reminded of a giant game of Whack-A-Mole. Up, down, up, down. All of it was about as spontaneous as a Pittsburgh Steelers’ pass play. Even the participants seemed bored by their actions.

But to be fair, I have to say that there were parts of President Barack Obama’s speech I felt like applauding myself. Such as when he said, “I am prepared to work with Democrats and Republicans to protect our borders [and] enforce our laws.” My problem is that I don’t believe him. Had he been Pinocchio, I think his nose would have grown a foot. In other words (and it saddens me to say this about a U.S. President), I think he was lying through his teeth.

Oh, and what about the doozey that “a parade of lobbyists has rigged the tax code?” Can you name a single lobbyist who ever cast a vote on the floor of the House or Senate? Me neither. But Obama and his buddies cast thousands. Let’s put the blame for our tax code squarely where it belongs, Mr. President — on you and your cronies.

I did like the President’s promise to lower the corporate tax rate “for the first time in 25 years.” I hope he delivers on this one; he’ll have the support of every Tea Partier in Congress if he does.

You probably never thought of it, but many of the most successful companies in America make a huge chunk of their profits — often more than 50 percent — from their sales in other countries. If you’ve traveled abroad recently you know it sometimes seems there is a Starbucks on every street corner, a McDonald’s next to it and Coca-Cola everywhere.

But most of those companies don’t bring their profits back to the U.S. of A. Why should they, when this country has the highest tax on corporate profits in the Western world? If you were the CEO, wouldn’t you keep the money overseas and put it to work there? That’s certainly what your shareholders — the real owners of the business — would want.

And how about the goal of giving 80 percent of us access to high-speed rail in the next 25 years? If people really wanted this, they’d be willing to pay for it. And a bunch of businesses would be eager to put up the money for it. No, this is just more of the same “we know better than you and we’re going to force you to do what we want” that’s led to the astronomical idiocy of ethanol, wind farms and electric cars.

Bah humbug to all the Soviet-style central planners who want to take away our freedom to choose. And then he dares to make a joke about how great it will be when we can travel around the country “without the pat-down.” Who do we have to thank for that gross indecency, Mr. President?

How did you like hearing “This is our generation’s Sputnik moment” from the same person who gutted NASA?

But for absolute effrontery — for a pompous promise that he knew was totally insincere, even as the words tumbled from his mouth — nothing Obama said that night could match this: “Every day families sacrifice to live within their means. They deserve a government that does the same.”

If you think Obama believes a single word of that you shouldn’t be trusted with a dull knife, much less the right to vote.

“We do big things” was how our panderer in chief ended his address. Indeed we do, Mr. President. And one of the “big things” we’re going to do next is find someone to replace you in the Oval Office.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Nutrient Biomarkers May Be Key In Alzheimer’s Prevention

Nutrient biomarkers may be key in Alzheimer's preventionResearchers at Oregon State University believe that detecting nutrient biomarkers in people with Alzheimer's may be an important step in developing treatment and prevention methods for the disease.

Scientists have suspected a link between the disorder and nutrition. However, accurate data is hard to find since it currently depends on a patient's recall of what they've eaten and also does not take into account how differently an elderly person's body may absorb nutrients.

"The gold standard to assess nutritional status should be biomarkers based on blood tests," said Emily Ho, co-author of the study.

As researchers begin to understand which populations are at risk for Alzheimer's disease, they improve their chances of developing prevention strategies. Additionally, with an accurate read of an individual's nutritional level, scientists can obtain better knowledge of how supplements and deficiencies affect a person's odds of getting the disorder.

For the study, researchers asked 38 elderly volunteers about their daily eating habits. Half of the participants had good memory and the others had a cognitive deficit. When compared to a nutritional assessment via a blood test, results showed that only those with intact memories gave reliable information.